Blue Jays sign Juan Francisco to minor league deal

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Hector Gomez of sports radio program ZDeportes in the Dominican Republic reports that the Blue Jays have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with free agent corner infielder Juan Francisco.

Francisco has been assigned to Triple-A Buffalo.

The 26-year-old was released by the Brewers at the end of spring training after losing first base duties to a platoon of Lyle Overbay and Mark Reynolds. Francisco tallied 18 home runs in 124 games last season between the Braves and Brewers, but that came alongside a .296 on-base percentage and he is not a very reliable defender.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.